A Letter to Parents - Dec 2021

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December 14th 2021

A letter from Mrs Carpenter & Mr Holman, containing important information regarding the return to school in January. 

Kingdown-School-Term-2-Letter-to-Parents-Dec21.pdf

A further letter was emailed to parents on Tuesday 4th January. The letter can be read below:

Tuesday 4th January

Dear Parents and Carers

Firstly, Happy New Year! We both hope you had a lovely Christmas and a real opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

We are hoping to start the new term with all of our staff and children healthy and well. In light of the recent news of the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, please do not send your son/daughter back to school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature
  • A loss, or change to sense of taste and/or smell
  • A new, continuous cough

If they do have these symptoms or are generally feeling under the weather, please book a PCR test for you son/daughter as soon as possible. Please email covidresults@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

Testing reminders

School based LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests are being offered on Thursday 6th January (Years 10, 11, 12 and 13) and Friday 7th January (years 7, 8 and 9). 

Prior to attending school (for either the testing on 6th January / 7th January) we are asking all families who

undertake home testing to complete a lateral flow test.

  • If you are in Years 10, 11, 12 or 13, please complete a lateral flow test at home on Wednesday 5th January before testing on site on Thursday 6th January
  • If you are in Years 7, 8 or 9, please complete a lateral flow test at home on Thursday 6th January before testing on site on Friday 7th January

If you receive a positive lateral flow test or PCR result before your return to school in January, 2022, please email

covidresults@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

You need to submit each and every LFD test taken at home to the NHS portal available here: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and remember to indicate it is for an educational setting and name Kingdown School.

Self-isolation reminder

Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart.

If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result.

Daily testing for close contacts

Children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

If you receive a positive lateral flow test please email covidresults@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk and book in for a PCR test as soon as possible.

You need to submit each and every LFD test to the NHS portal available here: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and remember to indicate it is for an educational setting and name Kingdown School.

Remote education plans

If your child needs to isolate, work will be set on Go4Schools. Your child’s tutor will act as the link between home and school. Email addresses can be found on our school website here: https://www.kingdown.wilts.sch.uk/399/staff-contacts

Booster jabs

In response to the threat from the Omicron variant, the JCVI advised that a Pfizer booster vaccine should be offered to:

  • children aged 12 to 15 years old who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of immunosuppressed individuals, and those who are severely immunosuppressed and have had a third primary dose
  • all young people aged 16 to 17 years old

The NHS will communicate how eligible children and young people can get their boosters shortly. 

We are not expecting that these will be undertaken at school but will be in touch if that is the case.

Face coverings

Following guidance from the DfE on Sunday 2nd January:

From today, Sunday 2 January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only, to support pupils and teachers as they return to school this term and builds on the existing proportionate guidance that recommends face coverings for all adults in communal areas of all settings. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.

We are asking parents to ensure that their child brings a face covering to school.

Students will be reminded to wear a face covering on entry to each building (in corridors, communal areas) and within the classroom too. If your child is exempt from wearing a face covering, they will be able to use their exemption card issued previously.

PE Kit

Up until the end of January, students will wear their PE kit to school on the days that they have PE.

Covid Safety Around School

As well as a mask, please provide your child with their own hand sanitiser if possible. We will be ventilating classrooms as advised by medical experts so a warm coat is important – students will be allowed to wear them in class.

Exams in January

Exams in January will take place as normal.

Attendance

In Term 2, our attendance rose following a very challenging fortnight to Term 1. Although the absences were

heavily driven by covid, we are pleased to see our attendance continue to rise each week throughout Term 2.

Please continue to support the school in ensuring your child is attending each and every day.

We see good attendance as being 98% plus – you can check on Go4Schools what your child’s % is. There is a clear link between high attendance and students maximising their learning and achievements and we want all of our students to reach their potential. Please keep checking on Go4Schools for the ongoing attendance percentage and keep the 98% figure in mind.

As it was before covid, if your child has a cold or similar low-level illness, and is testing negative on a LFT (Lateral Flow Test), they should come into school. Please rest assured that we will send your child home should covid symptoms develop or if they worsen. Children (under 18 years) in your household do not need to isolate if another member of the household tests positive, unless they themselves develop symptoms.

If there is any particular support you may need as a family to increase your child’s attendance, please contact their Head of House. We can offer advice, guidance and support to help boost attendance and by working together, we’ll see attendance rise for our students.

 

Behaviour Focus

In Term 3, we will be asking students to continue to build their resilience in class to learn after lockdown. We will be making sure students are on time to lessons and that they have been to the toilet in Break times (although we are human and know this isn’t always possible!).

We will continue to ensure mobile phones are away in classrooms unless being used for learning e.g. a quiz as we know they can distract our students. Please support us by not communicating with your child during lesson times and by asking them to speak to us before they ring or text you with any school issues. We will always contact you in the event of a medical emergency (which are thankfully rare).  

You can support us by discussing both negative and positive logs on G4S with your child and supporting our detentions system. We know that our most successful students get a consistent message from both home and school about the importance of being respectful – as the vast majority of our students are.